Regular snoring can significantly affect your quality of life (and your partner’s). It can lead to tiredness during the day, difficulty concentrating, headaches and a sore throat when you wake up. It can put significant strain on your relationship with your partner as you both struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Seeing a specialist will diagnose any underlying causes which may require treatment or surgery. The key is to see a specialist who can help diagnose the underlying cause.
If you can’t breathe properly through your nose, there may be an obstruction which causes you to mouth breathe – which can cause snoring. The most common causes of nasal obstruction are a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, sinusitis, allergies or enlarged adenoids. These symptoms can contribute to a narrowing of the nasal airway. Surgery to remove polyps or adenoids or to open up the airways will help reduce snoring.
If you snore regularly, you could be suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea. This is when you stop breathing for a short period of time due to a partial obstruction or blockage of the airway. Sleep apnoea can be a sign of a bigger underlying health problem such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. In this case, it is recommended to see a specialist and undergo a sleep study to rule out any more serious underlying problems.
Lifestyle changes can help treat snoring enormously. Try adopting these tips and techniques that can significantly help reduce snoring. Always see a doctor before you try over the counter sprays and pills.
- Change your sleeping position
Raise the head of the bed by 4 inches which opens up the nasal airways. Or try sleeping with an extra pillow. Or sew a tennis ball into the back of your pyjamas to stop you sleeping on your back.
- Lose weight if you are over weight
Losing weight can significantly reduce snoring.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
Drinking alcohol before sleeping makes snoring worse as it reduces the resting tone of the muscles at the back of your throat. Drinking plenty of water also helps keep your airways hydrated.
- Treat nasal congestion
Nasal allergies or a deviated septum can affect airflow through your nose. Using a saline nose spray such as Sterimar can help. A hot shower before bed can help open the nasal passages.
- Change your pillows and don’t let pets sleep on your bed
Allergic reactions to dust mites or pets contribute to a narrowing of the nasal airways as the nasal lining swells up.
- Get enough rest
This may sound simple but good sleep habits are essential. Working long hours or a stressful lifestyle can have the same effect as drinking alcohol on the muscles at the back of your throat. You should aim to get at least 7 hours per night.
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